Resources & Frequently Asked Questions

Check out the BANKRUPTCY VIDEOS from the Office of the U.S. Trustee.


Common Bankruptcy Questions

How can Bankruptcy help me?
Can I keep my house if I file for Bankruptcy?
Can I keep my car if I file for Bankruptcy?
Does Bankruptcy wipe out my second mortgage or line of credit?
How long does Bankruptcy take?
Does Bankruptcy erase tax debt?
Can I repay my credit cards with an affordable payment through Bankruptcy?
How can I stop my home from being foreclosed?
Will the creditors stop calling me?
I owe child support payments. How can I bring my child support payments current?
Do I need an attorney to file Bankruptcy?
Do I have to be late on my credit card payments to file Bankruptcy?
I own a house. Should I transfer or deed my house over to my spouse or relative or friend before filing Bankruptcy?

Useful Links

American Bar Association
State Bar of California





How can Bankruptcy help me?

  1. STOP CREDITORS FROM HARRASSING YOU:
    When a Bankruptcy is filed, an “automatic stay” is imposed, which means that all creditors must immediately stop calling or in any way contacting or collecting from you. If a foreclosure of property is pending, the Bankruptcy will immediately stop that foreclosure, even if the Bankruptcy is filed at the very last minute. If wages are being garnished, or levies placed on accounts, those must also stop with the filing of the Bankruptcy.
  2. ERASE CREDIT CARD DEBT / MEDICAL DEBT, etc:
    If you qualify for Chapter 7 Bankruptcy, you may be able to erase all of your credit card debt and other “unsecured debt”.
  3. AFFORDABLE PAYMENT OF YOUR DEBT:
    If you qualify for Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you may be able to repay only some of your debt based on what you can afford.
  4. KEEP YOUR HOME EVEN IF BEHIND ON YOUR MORTGAGE:
    In a Chapter 13, you may be able to catch up on your back mortgage payments over a longer period of time.
  5. REPAY OTHER IMPORTANT DEBTS SUCH AS BACK TAXES OR CHILD SUPPORT:
    In a Chapter 13, you may be able to repay back tax debt or back child support payments.
  6. ERASE OR WIPE OUT SECOND OR THIRD MORTGAGES ON YOUR PRIMARY RESIDENCE:
    Amongst other benefits of a Chapter 13, you may also be able to wipe out a second mortgage or third mortgage (or line of credit) from your primary residence.


Can I keep my house if I file for Bankruptcy?

PROPERTIES MAY BE PROTECTED: Keeping your house in a Bankruptcy depends on how much “equity” you have in it. Under California homestead exemption laws, and with the current low real estate values, most homes can be protected in a Bankruptcy, even with equity. An experienced Bankruptcy attorney will make sure to analyze your case properly BEFORE filing, to make sure that those assets and properties that are dear to you and your family are fully protected.


Can I keep my car if I file for Bankruptcy?

CARS MAY BE PROTECTED: As with keeping your home, there are certain California state and federal exemption (aka asset protection) laws that must be taken into account when preparing to file a Bankruptcy. Therefore, if the “equity” in your car is also capable of being exempted under the relevant laws, then your car(s) is/are fully protected and can be kept.


Does Bankruptcy wipe out my second mortgage or line of credit?

YES, YOU MAY BE ABLE TO FULLY ERASE YOUR SECOND OR THIRD MORTGAGE: Under Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, if your house is “under water”, meaning that the value of your home is LESS than the balance on your FIRST mortgage, then all other junior liens/mortgages can be fully removed from your property. This often leads to hundreds of thousands of dollars of savings for more clients, who are able to erase their second and/or third mortgages from their primary residence, and at the same time also take care of their credit card debt through the same bankruptcy filing!


How long does Bankruptcy take?

FILE AS SOON AS NECESSARY AND ADVISEABLE: How long it takes to prepare a Bankruptcy for filing depends on you and your attorney. And experienced attorney will NOT rush you into filing a case, and will keep an eye out on your case to make sure that you do not file too soon or too late. Depending on each individual situation, there may be many factors that could affect the timing of filing your case. At our office, some cases are filed sooner than later, but on average we have a 14 day turn-around period to prepare and file a case, once certain requirements are completed by our client. We also handle emergency filings, where a Bankruptcy petition is filed literally days before a pending foreclosure or repossession. Even for these emergency cases, we make sure to do a full analysis of your situation, to make sure that nothing else is jeopardized from the sudden filing of your Bankruptcy.


Does Bankruptcy erase tax debt?

MAYBE: There is a small window of exceptions that allow certain tax debts from being discharged or erased in Bankruptcy. Generally, tax debt is not dischargeable in Bankruptcy, unless these specific timing requirements are met. It is best to discuss your specific situation with an attorney for more information.


Can I repay my credit cards with an affordable payment through Bankruptcy?

YES! If you qualify for filing a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you can safely repay your debts without any further interest being added to them, and with an affordable monthly payment plan.


How can I stop my home from being foreclosed?

BANKRUPTCY CAN IMMEDIATELY STOP A FORECLOSURE: By filing a Bankruptcy, you will immediately and automatically put a stop on all foreclosure actions, buying you valuable time to figure out how to take the next step.


Will the creditors stop calling me?

YES CREDITORS MUST STOP CALLING YOU. Once a client retains our office, they are advised to tell their creditors to contact us, even BEFORE their case is filed. This gives our clients a great deal more peace of mind, so they can focus on preparing their paperwork for filing their case, and moving on with their normal lives.


I owe child support payments. How can I bring my child support payments current?

YES CHILD SUPPORT AND ALIMONY OR SPOUSAL SUPPORT PAYMENTS CAN BE REPAID THROUGH A BANKRUPTCY: If you file a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy, you can set up a fixed monthly payment plan to repay your back child or spousal support payments, without further fears of having the government after you.


Do I need an attorney to file Bankruptcy?

IT IS ADVISABLE TO HAVE AN ATTORNEY HELP YOU WITH BANKRUPTCY: As with any other area of law, you can technically file your Bankruptcy on your own. However, if you do, you are held to the same standards of the law, meaning that if you oversee an important matter of bankruptcy law, you might put your properties or money at risk, to the extent that you may risk losing your home, or money in the bank account, etc.


Do I have to be late on my credit card payments to file Bankruptcy?

NOT NECESSARILY: There is no legal requirement to be late on your credit card payments in order to file a Bankruptcy. It is very important to seek the help of an attorney to advise you about paying certain creditors instead of others, as that could possibly affect your future bankruptcy filing.


I own a house. Should I transfer or deed my house over to my spouse or relative or friend before filing Bankruptcy?

This is one of the most important and dangerous questions that clients ask. There are very very strict standards associated with the transfer of ANY property before the filing of a Bankruptcy case. It is serious to the extent that it could be deemed a fraudulent transfer, thereby putting the house/other property, as well as the RECIPIENT of the transfer at very high risk, once the bankruptcy is filed. PLEASE talk to an attorney first before making such decisions or taking these actions.



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16133 Ventura Boulevard, Suite 700
Encino, CA
91436
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Fax: (818) 377-7478
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Los Angeles, CA
90064
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Irvine, CA
92614
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Glendale, CA
91203
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